Whangārei MP grills PHARMAC in Health Select Committee

By Heta Gardiner

Whangārei MP Shane Reti has grilled PHARMAC in Select Committee, over their decisions around the meningococcal vaccines.

The MP, who defeated Shane Jones for the Whangārei seat in the 2017 election says PHARMAC’s communication was not up to stretch and accused them of "playing God".

He’s upset about how PHARMAC dealt with 30,000 meningococcal vaccines that he says was “on the table” for people in the north.

“You get that sense of the “playing God” that I’m alluding to here. How can it not be best practice to let the director general know, or the Minister of Health know, look there are 30,000 on the table.”

But PHARMAC don’t have any regrets. Their CEO Sarah Fitts said:

“Would we have done things different? No we probably wouldn’t.

“We would actually focus our efforts on targeting those high risk groups, and really the effort should have gone to targeting those high risk groups.”

She also added, “I would point out that the stock we secured was 13 times what we would usually secure in a year.”